a film by Michael Skiff
2010 | 74 mins | US
›› Kink Crusaders
a revealing insight to the world of IML.
Kink Crusaders by Michael Skiff If you've ever wondered what goes on at the annual International Mr Leather contest, then ponder no more. For here director Michael Skiff complete with his ever roaming camera, takes you backstage, if not on stage itself in this revealing insight to the world of IML, as it celebrated its 30th anniversary in Chicago.

For and as this serious sided documentary illustrates, there is more to the competition than just a seductive display of manflesh, a view that is echoed by its founder and spiritual guide Chuck Renslow who here proudly reflects upon the Brotherhood of Leather. It is one that has seen many a high and equally some all too poignant lows and none more so than the devastation of the AIDS virus, within the leather and gay communities. Yet IML remained focused and if anything, has evolved over the years. Once almost exclusively for those into S&M, it is now viewed as a fetish lifestyle. True, certain fundamental aspects of IML remain; heavy as it is in men, muscle and harnesses. But in an ever changing world, the contest is now open to anyone, regardless of race, sexuality or gender. And the fact that Tyler McCormick became the first female-to-male transgender and wheelchair reliant contestant to win the title in 2010, can only but underline the fact.

Kink Crusaders by Michael Skiff Sure, there's more codpieces on display than at a 15th century ball. Yet oddly and with so many hunks in one building, acts of sexual delight are seldom to be seen here, with Skiff instead opting to probe the minds of one talking head after another on what leather, the competition and masculinity means to them. What is not off camera however are the copious amounts of bare-arsed cheek to be had. Yet between shots of many a muscular derriere, Skiff probes ever deeper, not shying away from detailing the kink in some of these kink crusaders; from those into pain and dogging - literally, to the wonders of toys clearly designed with big boys in mind.

That Skiff builds up to his cinematic climax in the form of the pageant styled crowning of International Mr Leather 2008, goes without saying. Only it is the sheer pride of those taking part and indeed of those in attendance, that cuts to the emotional core of this work. All of which makes the bond of lasting friendships formed through IML, the real winner of the contest.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.
available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass Pictures catalogue: 28.February.2012 / US.
Chuck Renslow / IML Founder and Executive Producer.


Mikel Gerle / IML 2007,
John Pendal / IML 2003,
Tony Mills / IML 1998,
Jeff Tucker / IML 1994,
Guy Baldwin / IML 1989,
David Kloss / IML 1979.


Mr Marcus Hernandez,
Mistress Eve,
Mistress Simone,
George Wong,
Queen Cougar,
Howie Zeusel.
Brad Belof / IML Contest Announcer.


#2, David Howell / Oklahoma Mr Leather 2008,
#8, Ryan 'Tyger' Yoshinaga / Mr Central CA Leather 2008,
#11, SIR Liam / Mr Iowa Leather 2008,
#12, Randall Davis / Mr Leather Cowboy 2007,
#14, Matthew Pavelich / Mr Leatherman Toronto 2008,
#33, Richard Hubley / Mr Leather Ottawa 2008,
#36, Eric 'Hunter' Olson / Mr Russian River Leather 2008,
#37, Alexander Rose-Grein / Mr Baden-Wuerttemberg 2008,
#43, Don SIR / Mr Long Beach Leather 2007,
#47, Gary Iriza / Mr Palm Springs Leather 2008,
#48, Paul Stag / Mr London Leather,
#49, Dwane Farr / Mr Missouri Leather 2008.


the contest / International Mr Leather

the film / kinkcrusaders-themovie.com
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
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